Social Media

Why 100,000 women love GirlCrew’s ‘Tinder for female friendship’

By Kitty Knowles 18 January 2018

Meet awesome female founders - or just plan an awesome night out.

Fed up of friends who are ‘too tired’ to go out?

So was Dublin’s Elva Carri, until, in 2014, she decided to switch around her gender settings on Tinder.

Although this meant she was listed as ‘male’, her bio clarified that she was a hetrosexual woman – and that all she was interested in was meeting other women to arrange a night out dancing.

“She thought that 2 or 3 people might get in touch, but more than 100 people matched with her,” friend Pamela Newenham, tells The Memo.

Overwhelmed by the response, Carri, Newenham and fellow co-founder Aine Mulloy, decided to start GirlCrew to tackle the isolation many women feel.

“A lot of women find when they get to their 30s or 40s that their friends have moved, or they’ve all got married or have children and they’re the last single person in the group,” Newenham says.

“You should never have to be stuck home alone on a Friday night.”

GirlCrew members at a coffee meetup. Image: GirlCrew.

What is GirlCrew?

The GirlCrew team first started their community as a private group on Facebook (there was no way Carri could plan a night out for so many women using Tinder alone).

And from the off, GirlCrew members took ownership to start planning socials on their own. “The best businesses are the ones where you don’t have to handhold the whole time,” says Newenham.

From there, GirlCrew expanded with local groups opening in London (10,000 members) and beyond – in the likes of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Aberdeen.

GirlCrew even grew to help members improve their professional lives – giving them a network in which to seek business advice and mentors.

And today it has groups specifically for female founders, for bloggers, and a broarder careers group, as well as ticketed Girl Crew Pro events to help women climb the career ladder, land their dream job or start their own business.

“A lot of women have got jobs, a pay rise or a promotion, through GirlCrew,” says Newenham.

While general groups have, and always will be free to join, premium members can pay a €10 monthly charge to access special events – as well as some community advertising.

A Facebook birthday

With all this going on it shouldn’t be a surprise that GirlCrew has gone on to hit 100,000 active users.

In 2016, Facebook flew the founding team to San Francisco to meet Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. And last spring, GirlCrew represented the EU at SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas.

Despite support from America’s social media moguls, the GirlCrew founders soon realised they’d have to part from Facebook (the platform caps group event invites once they reach a certain size).

So they built their own app and desktop platform which launched last summer.

This, says Newenham, is designed “to do for friendship, what other companies like Tinder have done for dating”.

“It’s event focused because we believe real friendship happens in person – at monthly book clubs, coffee meetups, lunches, walks and nights out.”

GirlCrew hosts a professional event. Image: GirlCrew.

Going global

Now, having recently raised £650,000, GirlCrew plans to launch in the US and Australia, with hundreds of eager beans already signed up to the app’s waiting lists (800 women are signed up in Los Angeles, 500 in Austin, and 400 in Sydney).

“We want to be in all English-speaking countries, and then we’ll expand,” says Newenham.

“We want it to be that wherever you go you can join a sister group in another city.”

Ready to swipe right on local GirlCrew sisters?